Dissociative Identity Disorder Treatment
What is a Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Dissociative identity disorder, previously known as multiple personality disorder, is a complex psychological condition that is likely caused by severe trauma, often during early childhood (usually extreme, repetitive physical, sexual, or emotional abuse).
Dissociative identity disorder is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct or split identities or personality states that continually have power over the person’s behavior.
Dissociative Identity Disorder Treatment is highly specialized and requires highly-skilled and experienced licensed therapists. At Reconnect, our ‘trauma-first’ approach to mental health treatment is ideally suited for effective DID treatment.
Common Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder
Depersonalization is one of the most common symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). It occurs when an individual feels detached from their own body and experiences a sense of unreality or disconnection from the world around them. Sometimes described as an “out of body” experience. Feelings of depersonalization are often disturbing and can feel like living in a dream or being detached from reality and out of control to a degree. Depersonalization can be a response to extreme trauma and can interfere with daily functioning.
Symptoms of depersonalization include:
- Feeling like you are observing your own thoughts, feelings, your body or parts of your body from outside yourself.
- Feeling robot or ‘zombie-like’ or somehow not in control of your speech or movement.
- A distorted sense of your limbs or body. Legs or arms appear too big or too small.
- Emotional and/or physical numbness of your senses and interactions with others.
- Feeling disconnected from your own memories, as if they aren’t your own or you have no emotional tie to them.
Derealization is another primary symptom of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). It’s often described as a sense of detachment from reality, as if the world around you doesn’t quite feel real. This can be accompanied by feelings of depersonalization which involve feeling detached from your own body or emotions. It is important to note that this symptom is quite real and it is caused by trauma. Derealization is not “made up”, nor is it merely an exaggeration of the sense of “spacieness” that everyone gets from time to time. Dissociative Identity Disorder treatment at Reconnect focused on helping people process their traumatic experiences in order to reduce symptoms of derealization. Our trauma treatment also includes education about DID as well as techniques for grounding, relaxation, and stress management.
Symptoms of derealization include:
- A sense of alienation or unfamiliarity with your surroundings, as you are living in a dream.
- A distorted sense of time. Recent events feel like they happened in the distant past.
- Distortions in your perception of distance or the size and shape of things around you.
- Emotional disconnection from people you love, like there is a window or wall between you.
- The world appearing flat, two-dimensional, artificial and colorless
- The world seems unusually clear and a sense of hyperawareness.
This is the failure to recall significant personal information that is so extensive it cannot be blamed on ordinary forgetfulness.One of the most common symptoms of DID, amnesia can be disorienting, confusing and upsetting. An episode of amnesia usually occurs suddenly and may last minutes, hours, or rarely, months or years.
Dissociative amnesia is often tied directly to traumatic events, like sexual assault or combat experiences. Less commonly, it may include complete loss of memory about oneself. Sometimes it can lead to a dissociative fugue, which consists of geographical wandering and a person leaving their life behind inexplicably and suddenly.
Dissociative Identity Disorder treatment focuses on addressing the trauma that led to the development of DID and helping those affected regain control over their thoughts and behavior. Treatment for DID often includes a combination of psychotherapy, medication management, and lifestyle changes. The trauma-focused approach we use at Reconnect can help reduce these symptoms and empower people with healthy coping mechanisms.
Identity Confusion or Identity Alteration
Identity confusion and identity alteration are another core symptom of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). It occurs when an individual experiences difficulty in distinguishing between different identities which exist within themselves and feel like two separate people. This can be very confusing and frightening for the person, as they may experience several conflicting thoughts and emotions simultaneously. This is the aspect of DID that led to it being called “multiple personality disorder” in the past.
Identity confusion often stems from trauma. In DID, trauma is often so severe that the individual creates separate identities to cope with and compartmentalize the trauma. These alternate identities may have distinct personality traits, memories, or beliefs which can cause confusion when trying to make sense of them in one body. Each identity can take on a different name, age, gender and occupation.
The experience of identity confusion can lead to a sense of uncertainty about who the person really is and what their true purpose in life is. This can be a very disorienting feeling, and it is important for people with DID to have support from mental health professionals to help them find clarity and understanding during this difficult time. With the right amount of care and understanding, individuals can learn to recognize the uniqueness of their different identities and develop a sense of self-compassion
The Reconnect Recovery Difference
Reconnect programs are different. Here you will find dissociative identity disorder treatment that is evidence-based and practical, but always delivered with warmth and compassion. The dedicated mental health professionals at Reconnect are invested in the long-term wellness of every person in our care.
The mission here is to not only provide relief during treatment, but to give people the knowledge, understanding and tools they need to continue to grow and progress after treatment. Under the leadership of renowned trauma specialist, Dr. Karol Darsa Psy.D. we provide intensive, transformational treatment for dissociative identity disorder.
Healing Begins When You Reconnect
If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with any of these conditions, or shows symptoms, the team at Reconnect wants to help. No one deserves to live with an untreated or undertreated mental health disorder. Treatment for dissociative identity disorder is more effective today than ever before. The help you and your loved ones deserve is just a phone call away. Contact us at: (310) 713-6739